Body and Soul: Memoirs of Restraint and Revelation

Marriott Conference Center C

Saturday, 3:00-3:45

There are different ways a person's wings can be clipped early in life. Sandra Gail Lambert contracted polio as a child, which left her contained by braces and, ultimately, a wheelchair. The fiercely narrow ideas that informed Kelly Beard's father about religion and childrearing restrained her both mentally and physically. Both women know what it means to be contained. They both also know what it's like to be the architect of one's own unique method of flight.


Kelly Beard

Kelly Beard has worked as a political organizer and as Assistant to the Secretary of the National Organization for Women. She practiced employment discrimination law in the Atlanta area for two decades and has received many honors for her work, including a certificate of recognition from the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence for her service with the Legal Assistance for Victims Project. In 2016, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appears in the Santa Ana Review, Five Points, Bacopa Literary Review, and other journals. An Imperfect Rapture is her first full-length memoir.

Sandra Gail Lambert

Sandra Gail Lambert, a 2018 NEA Creative Writing Fellow, writes fiction and memoir that is often about the body and its relationship to the natural world. Her latest book, A Certain Loneliness, will be published by University of Nebraska Press in September 2018. Excerpts from her debut novel, The River’s Memory (Twisted Road/2014), have won prizes from Big Fiction Magazine and the Saints and Sinners Short Fiction Contest. Her writing has been widely anthologized and has also been published in a variety of other journals including The Southern Review, Brevity, the North American Review, and New Letters. She is the co-editor, along with Sarah Einstein, of the anthology Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival. Sandra lives with her wife in Gainesville, Florida.


Linda Bryant

Linda Bryant is the co-founder of Charis Books and More, the now 44 year old feminist bookstore in Atlanta, and of Charis Circle, the non-profit programming arm of Charis Books. She is has retired from Charis but continues to be dedicated to the work and mission of encouraging independent voices and working for inclusivity and justice. She enjoys serving as a Spiritual Director companioning people seeking to deepen their spiritual journey. Linda is, as always, an avid reader and now volunteers assisting refugee women to learn English.